The Legendary fashion designer James Galanos and Reagan’s favorite died yesterday. The 92 years old Games were dressing US’s top elite for decades. He died at his home in West Hollywood, California.
Born in 1924 in Philadelphia, Galanos grew up sketching and began his career after high school, first with a brief stint at the Traphagen School of Fashion before deciding practical experience would be more valuable than what he would learn in school. A variety of jobs and work as a freelancer selling his sketches to manufacturers followed.
This is what NYTimes said: “During his long career, Mr. Galanos earned the most accolades his industry had to offer, including several Coty Awards (he was the youngest designer to win one, in 1954), a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and a bronze plaque on Seventh Avenue’s Fashion Walk of Fame. He dressed the famous and the socially prominent — the ladies who lunched, from Park Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue — and outfitted Mrs. Reagan on four inaugural occasions, twice after Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California and twice after he became president.”
“Ronnie liked Jimmy’s clothes very much,” Mrs. Reagan said in a 2007 interview with Vanity Fair magazine. “Wearing Jimmy meant never going overboard or to extremes. Jimmy really set the standard.”
On another occasion, she remarked of a Galanos dress that “you can wear one inside out, they are so beautifully made.”
Mr. Galanos was in many ways as renowned for what he declined as what he embraced. More than any other American designer, he embodied the concept that elegance is refusal.
He evaded celebrity, never sought a broad clientele and actively shunned the fashion establishment and its press. He did not stage fashion shows and contented himself with providing precisely executed, chaste and ingeniously cut clothing to a small and unswervingly devoted group from what was once termed “the luxury niche.”